Iíve long said that context is absolutely everything in fantasy baseball.† My first-ever article
at Baseball Prospectus introducing myself centered around this concept, and context is even more important in daily than it is in traditional fantasy.† Still, there are some contextual factors that sometimes go overlooked, particularly ones that initially seem to be more for suited for the traditional game.† When players move teams, it often flies a bit under the radar of daily players since they donít have to deal with all the ramifications of how much the new team likes him, how much heíll play, etc.† They look at the lineup card on a given day and see if a guy is playing. †If he is, heís an option. †While this is an oversimplication, itís worth noting that when a player moves teams, his entire body of work needs to be reevaluated under the lens of his new environment.† Thereís one notable player that swapped uniforms recently that I want to talk about.
On the surface, the newest New York Met, Eric Young Jr., looks to be a great value play in daily leagues.† His price is depressed by a terrible stint with Colorado (.242/.290/.352), but he batted .316 last year and is a better hitter than he showed in Denver.† Heís now playing and leading off most days for the Mets -- run potential! -- and has blazing speed.
While heís definitely a usable daily league commodity, consider that Mets manager Terry Collins is the least aggressive manager
in all of baseball when it comes to letting his players attempt steals.† My study showed that players moving to Collins' teams tend to lose 6.7 percent off their Stolen Base Attempt rate.† The next most passive manager is Oaklandís Bob Melvin, but batters only lose 3.7 percent with him.† Thatís an absolutely crazy difference between the worst and second-worst manager for steals.† Now consider that former Rockies manager Jim Tracy elevated the SBA rate by 4.6 percent, and EYJ could conceivably take quite the hit to his value.
EYJís SBA rate with Colorado was an absurd 38 percent, but the projected 11.3 percent drop-off (combining the effect of losing Tracy and gaining Collins) would cause a noticeable drop to 27 percent.† Still good, still valuable, but just know what youíre getting into.† For the record, Young has reached first base seven times with the Mets and has yet to attempt a steal.
There were only four games yesterday, so there really wasnít very much.
Michael Brantley stayed hot and went 2-for-4 with a home run and 4 RBI, but he only batted seventh in the order.† Itís as if progressive MLB teams donít place much value on hot streaks.†Weird.
Wil Myers hit his second major-league home run.† Iím still keeping my expectations in check for a guy who wonít steal many bases and is a bit of a batting average question mark.
Jeremy Hellickson pitched 7 one-hit shutout innings.† His 5.11 ERA could depress his price in some places but I like him as a bounce-back candidate and think he makes for a good daily league play on days when the matchup is favorable.
Kyle Blanks continued to rake, going 4-for-5.† The .285 batting average is too high, but his power is legit.† Heís a fine play on days when heís in the lineup, particularly since heís batting a lot of cleanup and fifth lately.
I was watching MTVís Zach Stone is Gonna Be Famous
the other day, and while I was fast-forwarding through the commercials, I noticed Draft Kingsí new commercial
come on and had to rewind and watch it.† Just thought that was cool.
Speaking of Draft Kings, if youíre playing in the $2 Moon Shot pre-qualifiers, you only have two days left to score a Midsummer Classic Qualifier Ticket.† If you havenít started yet, donít bother -- you had to play five out of eight days.† But you can still play in the $5 Qualifiers or $22 Super-Qualifiers that run through July 19.† This all leads up to their $500,000 Midsummer Classic, which awards $125,000 to the winner and pays out the top 600 spots.
And hereís your weekly reminder about your chance to play against me in Draft Streetís weekly $300 free roll Pick ĎEm (join with this link
).† Iím still loving the Pick ĎEm.
WHAT WILL BE
Matt Kemp could be activated today.† Normally Iíd be wary of a guy on his first day back, but he has a good home matchup against Mike Kickham.† If youíre playing Fantasy Aces, check out the way they handle injured players.† Kemp costs the minimum $3900 today, making him a must play if heís active.† (Iíll talk more about this at a later date.)
Jose Reyes could be activated tomorrow.† Same deal as Kemp on Fantasy Aces, but slightly more expensive at $4500.
Bryce Harper will begin a rehab stint today.
As much as Iím skeptical of Jose Fernandez in full-season leagues, he has been truly excellent this year and has a great matchup today.† Heís still pretty cheap on most sites, so heís far and away my pitcher pick of the day.
If youíre stacking today, Red Sox and Dodgers hitters are home against Juan Nicasio and Mike Kickham, respectively.† Giants hitters are on the road, but they have the pleasure of facing Stephen Fife.
Below youíll find my top 30 pitchers for today, fully ranked, with my favorite matchups bolded.
1. Chris Sale vs. NYM
2. Yu Darvish @ NYY
3. Gio Gonzalez vs. AZ
4. Jose Fernandez vs. MIN
5. Matt Moore vs. TOR
6. Kris Medlen @ KC
7. Ervin Santana vs. ATL
8. Kyle Lohse vs. CHC
9. Kyle Kendrick @ SD
10. Hiroki Kuroda vs. TEX
11. Tommy Milone vs. CIN
12. Chris Tillman vs. CLE
13. C.J. Wilson @ DET
14. Jeff Locke @ SEA
15. Jason Marquis vs. PHI
16. Zack Wheeler @ CHW
17. Rick Porcello vs. ANA
18. Ryan Dempster vs. COL
19. Trevor Cahill @ WAS
20. Justin Masterson @ BAL
21. Mark Buehrle @ TB
22. Edwin Jackson @ MIL
23. Bronson Arroyo @ OAK
24. Kevin Correia @ MIA
25. Joe Saunders vs. PIT
26. Jake Westbrook @ HOU
27. Lucas Harrell vs. STL
28. Stephen Fife vs. SF
29. Mike Kickham @ LA
30. Juan Nicasio @ BOS